Monday, June 5, 2023

Nisga'a Nation and Telus join together on wireless initiative

Four Nass Valley communities will gain improved connectivity
in 2024 as part of partnership between the Nisga'a Nation and Telus

The Nisga'a Lisims Government and national communication provider Telus have celebrated a partnership that will see an 8.8 million dollar project launch the ambitious work towards better connectivity to be completed in 2024.

The agreement, which is noted as a first of a kind arrangement will see wireless connectivity through the Nass Valley providing access to the Telus High Speed Network through a Nisga'a Nation owned network.

Once in operation in 2024, the network will provide for reliable connectivity for residents of all four villages of Ging̱olx, Lax̱g̱alts'ap, Gitwinksihlkw, and New Aiyansh 

That new connectivity will serve to expand access to healthcare and telemedicine, which is currently limited for Nisg̱a'a citizens and health clinics on Nisg̱a'a Lands, and improving public safety and communication for travelers and emergency responders along a previously unconnected stretch of Highway 113. 

"This is not just a story about internet connectivity; this is a story about our ability as a self-governing Nation to create partnerships to advance our economy on Nisg̱a'a Lands. Our investments in the Lisims network will enable us to determine our own success and increase the ability of our people, our businesses, and our youth to fully participate and thrive in our increasingly digital world." --  Nisg̱a'a Nation President Eva Clayton

The information release from last week's announcement outlines how the arrangement marks a shift in how such partnerships can work.

This joint initiative reimagines how public-private partnerships can enable Indigenous-led solutions and success. With funding from the Universal Broadband Fund and Nisg̱a'a, TELUS has committed to build six macro towers and 3 small cells. 

TELUS and Nisg̱a'a Lisims Government are also working together to provide technical skills training for Nisg̱a'a citizens who will maintain the infrastructure.

As part of the arrangement, the Nisg̱a'a Lisims Government will invest $4.3 million into this build, with an additional $4.5 million coming from ISED's Universal Broadband Fund, and with technical support and workforce development training provided by TELUS. 

More on the partnership between the Nisga'a Nation and Telus can be reviewed here.

A wider overview of communication themes across the Northwest is available here


  1. It's interesting that the partnership is with Telus and not with City West, although not that far away.

    1. It appears that the announcement builds on the Nisga'a Nation's previous relationship with Telus. But yes, it's an interesting note of one area of the Northwest seemingly not in the plans for CityWest. NCR

    2. This makes the Nisgaa deal look terrible in comparison to Nuxalk, Haida, and all the other 40+ First Nations along the citywest connected coast project. Nisgaa have to put up millions of their own dollars and are in bed with a massive corporation that answers to shareholders. Every other nation puts up zero dollars courtesy of the feds and Province, and gets fibre to the home from a company owned by a community.

    3. Interesting take, especially your view on how the NLG would have to answer to a massive corporation responsible to shareholders ... wonder how that works on the CityWest program? Be interesting to hear more from the various principles involved.

      It would seem however, that the Nisga'a Nation liked what Telus offered and did more than a fair bit of due diligence on their decision. NCR

  2. Looks like everyone forgets that Citywest isn’t in the cellular business, which is why they aren’t partnered here.

    1. The funding comes from the universal Broadband Fund to improve on internet connectivity for remote locations

      So while some is cel related, it does appear to be wider in scope for the residents of the Nass Valley NCR